Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Stenhouse took some steps back last season after his career-best 2017 campaign. He registered just five Top-10 finishes during the year, and finished 18th in the final driver standings. The six-season veteran failed to make the Chase field, and failed to crack the win column after picking up two victories in 2017. Still, Stenhouse was pretty fast and reliable on the superspeedways. That's has been this team and driver's biggest strength the last few seasons. Two of Stenhouse's three Top-5 finishes last year came in both Talladega races. However, we saw the 31-year-old driver take some steps back on intermediate and larger ovals. The good news is that the team is the point car for the Roush organization and sponsorship and contracts look good for the foreseeable future. Brian Pattie returns at crew chief, and he and Stenhouse will look to regain some of their lost 2017 swagger. Read Past Outlooks
Fifth at Charlotte
May 26, 2019
Stenhouse Jr. finished fifth in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday night.
It would be quite an eventful night for the Roush Fenway Racing veteran. After an early-race run-in with Kyle Busch, Stenhouse would later rally back to the front. By stage 3 he was a fixture inside the Top 10 for the remainder of the night. The final restart would offer The No. 17 Ford team a chance to improve their track position, and Stenhouse would grab some spots. The fifth-place finish was his first Top 5 and just his second Top 10 of the season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Last year was a career season for the driver of the No. 17 Ford. Stenhouse nabbed a couple victories on the superspeedway circuit and posted nine total Top-10 finishes. It all led to a career-best 13th-place mark in the final driver standings. The entire No. 17 team and crew chief Brian Pattie return in 2018. It's taken five seasons to turn around this floundering race team, but Roush and Stenhouse have finally started to make some headway. We don't expect any quantum leaps for this driver and team, but another campaign of steady improvements and consistency. Another berth in the Chase for the Cup would be dependent on winning a race. Stenhouse has proven to be a dangerous driver on the superspeedways, so we wouldn't rule out a playoff seeding win.
With the departure of Greg Biffle, Stenhouse now finds himself the elder statesman of this now two-team stable at Roush Fenway Racing. The trend line for this camp hasn't been good, but at least they have some youth to point to in the driving department. Stenhouse is a two-time Xfinity Series champion, but he's yet to make his mark on NASCAR's top division. Now entering his fifth full-time season of competition in the Monster Energy Cup Series, the pressure to perform will be squarely on Stenhouse's shoulders. He posted career-best marks in Top 5s and Top 10s last season with four and six respectively. However, his 21st-place finish in the driver standings is what is most concerning. Unless some major things change in the No. 17 Ford camp, a berth in the Chase is a slim possibility this season.
As we enter season four of the Stenhouse era at Roush Fenway Racing, the young driver comes to a crossroads in his Sprint Cup Series career. Rather than improvement, we've seen some fairly consistent performance marks from the driver of the No. 17 Ford through his first three seasons in NASCAR's top division. Last year he only collected three top-10 finishes and ended up a lowly 25th in the driver standings after Homestead. Those are marks comparable to previous years. The time to improve is now, and the burden is on Roush to give Stenhouse better cars and better guidance. Nick Sandler returns as crew chief for this driver and team in 2016, but both Sandler and Stenhouse will be on the hot seat if they turn in another lackluster performance this season. This is a contract year for the young driver so we believe they'll be some improvement, but not tremendous by any measure.
1. The two-time reigning Nationwide Series champion will take on his first full season of racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Stenhouse takes over the famous No. 17 Ford for the departed Matt Kenseth and he has some pretty big shoes to fill right off. The young driver is not completely unacquainted with the Cup car. Stenhouse made five starts in NASCAR’s top division over the last two years. He’ll use that experience to his full advantage in 2013. When we look back in history and Roush Fenway Racing rookies we’re reminded of David Ragan. The comparisons between him and Stenhouse are striking. In fact, we think their rookie campaigns could be just as similar. Lots of lessons learned and around 7-9 Top-10 finishes for the ROTY candidate.
More Fantasy News
Sixth-Place at Las Vegas
March 4, 2019
After earning his third straight Top 10 qualifying position, Stenhouse Jr. drove his Fastenal Ford to a sixth-place finish collecting stage points in all three stages at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon, roushfenway.com reports.
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Runner-up Finish in Duel 1
February 14, 2019
Stenhouse Jr. finished second in the Gander RV Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway Thursday night.
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Leads Texas Happy Hour
November 3, 2018
Stenhouse Jr. was fastest in Happy Hour practice for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon. He turned a fast lap of 192.349 mph.
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Third at Talladega Superspeedway
October 14, 2018
Stenhouse Jr. finished third in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday afternoon.
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Fifth-Place at Talladega
April 29, 2018
Stenhouse Jr. finished fifth in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday afternoon.
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